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12 Days of Christmas: THREE things to remember

1 Corinthians 13:12-13 KJV

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

When studying God’s Word, I pray I will understand His Word and that He will illuminate the pages for me. I would read from the King James Version, then look at the Amplified Version for a more expansive explanation of what the verse or passage means.

I do this, not to replace the words breathed by God (2 Timothy 3:16) but to gain a better understanding of His Word and what God is saying to me - this is exactly why we have pastors in the pulpit, to help us get a better understanding of God’s Word and how we are to apply it to our daily walk with Him.

When reading on the love of God recently, this was a verse that came up a few times - it is three things that Christ has instructed us to do and be, specifically the last one.

Let’s look at the Amplified Version (AMP) of 1 Corinthians 13:13.

And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.”

The Dictionary states that faith means “confidence or trust in a person”. As a born again Christian, our faith is in the One true God, which we looked at briefly a few days ago. The AMP version explains it with a Godly definition - abiding, enduring, everlasting, steadfast and permanent trust in God and His promises.

God’s promises are found through His entire book, the Bible. One of my favourite promises, especially during uncertain times like we are in, is from Micah 7:8, where it says that God is our Light in the darkness - darkness can mean different things to people, such as illness, financial difficulty, mental health, any circumstance that will cause pain and heartache in some shape or form, and also, through the darkness of sin into the light of salvation. But knowing that promise, that God is our Light, is a wonderful reminder for us to trust in Him and Him alone. To have confidence in Him and Him alone. To remember God’s promises every day.

A word that we hear often at Christmas is hope. Joy around a tree with family gives us a flicker of hope in uncertainty.

What it means in the Bible, though, is incomprehensible - we can read of the hope that Christ gives us before we are saved (Romans 8:24), the hope that Christ gives us as Christians (Jeremiah 29:11), but it is the future hope that we live for knowing that Christ IS the ultimate hope for when He returns (1 Peter 1:13) through eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

Love - we hear this word used every day. “I love that coat she is wearing”, “I love that car he’s driving”, “I love that restaurant they've posted on Facebook”. We exchange “I love you’s” with parents, spouses, children, family, even pets. We think we know what love is, but when we read in the Bible of God’s love for us - through the creation of the world, through the miracles and God’s presence in the trials in the Old Testament, through the birth, the testings, the death and the resurrection of His Son Jesus, and the love that His disciples felt during their ministries and even deaths, but also knowing that His great love will be fully known when Christ returns.

John 13:23 says, “Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” He loved and loves us all until the end (John 13:1) and through this love, He died for us (John 3:16) and washed us with his own blood because of His love (Revelation 1:5)

God’s love is unfailing (Psalm 109:26); abundant (Psalm 86:15); inseparable (Romans 8:35, 38-39). God’s love never fails.

The end of verse 13 says that “the greatest of these is love”.

I love Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this verse, which I will finish with:

“ is everlasting work, when faith and hope shall be no more. Faith fixes on the divine revelation, and assents to that: hope fastens on future felicity, and waits for that: and in heaven faith well be swallowed up in vision, and hope in fruition.

There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But love fastens on the divine perfections themselves, and the divine image on the creatures, and our mutual relation both to God and them.

These will all shine forth in the most glorious splendours in another world, and there will love be made perfect; there we shall perfectly love God, because he will appear amiable for ever, and our hearts will kindle at the sight, and glow with perpetual devotion…

For God is love, 1 Jn. 4:8, 16. And where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height-there, and there only, will it be perfected.”



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